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Lutebook lullaby, & Before the light fades : Two a cappella excerpts from cantata 'The Child of Heaven'

by Ralph Middenway (1971)

child of heaven


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The child of heaven / Ralph Middenway.

Version: This product features the SATB Choir with chamber ensemble version of this work

Library shelf no. Q 782.5522/MID 1 [Available for loan]

Work Details

Year: 1971

Instrumentation: SATB a cappella. Soprano soloist in 'Lutebook lullaby'.

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Tone clusters in one number, independent vocal lines in the other.

Poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Clive Sansom, William Ballet, Eleanor Farjeon, Frances Bellerby, James McAuley, interspersed with verses of Personent hodie (Piac cantiones - 1582) and a short Gloria.

The cantata The Child of Heaven needs some revision; these two numbers do not.

They are both quiet pieces.

Lutebook Lullaby is about Mary and the very young Christ Child; Before the Light Fades is the voice of a very old woman, with a few questions still requiring answers-questions about life ...

These two pieces have some of the same attributes as 'Missa Omnibus Sanctis'. Neither is straightforward; each is driven by word-setting, by the aim to fit music to the highly evocative lyrics.


Performances of this work

Unknown date: St George's, Goodwood, SA

1972: Live performance in ABC Studio as part of 1972 Perth Festival, with WASO players.

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